Monday, February 8, 2016

To,
Sri Pradeep Kumar Sinha,, Cabinet Secretary

(Chairman, Empowered Committee of Secretaries) , Government of India

Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure  39A, North Block

New Delhi – 110001

Respected Sir,

Sub: Memorandum on Seventh CPC recommendations on Loco Running Staff of Indian Railway - request reconsideration. 

The Seventh CPC recommendations have already been submitted to the Government of India on 19/11/2015 subsequently an Empowered Committee has been constituted on this 7th pay commission report. I on behalf of the All India Loco Running Staff Association, express herewith our views on Seventh CPC report.

Sir, I submit that the Loco Running Staff consisting of Assistant Loco Pilots (ALP), Loco Pilot (Shunting, Goods, Passenger and Mail/Express) who play the vital and important role to increase the productivity, maintain the punctuality and safety of the running train are very much disappointed with this retrograde, discriminatory, disappointing report of Seventh CPC. The Seventh CPC recommendations clearly reflect the non-application of mind into the grievances of the Loco Running Staff. Further it is seen that the Seventh CPC did not evaluate the job of Loco Running Staff for awarding proper and suitable pay structure. Like the past CPC, this CPC has also disappointed the most important category of Indian Railways, the Loco Running Staff who perform their duty under unjust and adverse working condition on great pressure. They have to work all 365 days in a year and are subjected to the vagaries of weather and other outdoor conditions. They have to move regularly and required to work in disturbed and sensitive areas too. There is a serious resentment prevailing amongst the Loco Running Staff. As such, this association demands to review the recommendations appropriately to maintain the healthy labour relation and in the interest of safety, punctuality and productivity. I hereby enclose a copy of our memorandum.

OUR GRIEVENCES ON SEVENTH CPC RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Minimum Pay and Fixation Factor

The Seventh CPC took the 15th ILC norms and additional components to arrive minimum pay for the Govt employees. It is our considered opinion that there lies a serious lacuna in the ILC norms, in so far it never gives weightage for the aged parents of the workers. The position in Law of this country, the worker is liable to look after the parents, failing which will attract penalisation under Criminal Law, and the concerned court has power to deduct money from his emoluments and give it to Parents.  

Therefore at least 1 unit should have been added to the norms of 3 units. This was the demand from staff side. Instead of taking 3 units, 4 units should have been taken to arrive at the minimum pay. Added to this the price of various food items such as rice/wheat, vegetables, dal, sugar, fish, meat, oil, milk, etc. taken for calculation are not commensurate with actual market rate. Further there are no items of spices such as essential salt, chilly, coriander, etc. stationery expenditure on these items has not been added to the food expense to arrive at the minimum wages though specifically demanded by the staff side.

If the expenditure incur at least for one old age parent and added the cost for left over items, and took the 7.5% of housing expense fixed by the ILC, definitely the minimum wage fixed should not have been at Rs.18000 but at least around Rs.26000 as demanded by the staff. Instead of Rs.18000 if Rs.26000 has been so arrived, the fixation factor also would have been much more than 2.57 now allowed. So we demand to raise the pay as well as the fixation factor of 2.57 to higher level.

2. Identical Level in the Pay Matrix for Feeder and Promotion Posts

The approach of the said committee as stated in para 5.1.5 is said to be, to ensure that the emolument structure is in consonance with the nature of work, role and responsibility and accountability involved at various levels of hierarchy in the Govt of India. The value that the individual employees are expected to bring to the job by the way of relevant educational qualification, skill sets and experience are also important consideration. Internal equity, by way of salaries payable at comparable levels within the organisation are also important considerations.

Though declared so, it seems the responsibility, skill set, the pay payable at comparable level not been fully assessed while allotting pay matrix for all posts of Loco Running Staff; What we could see that a replica of the pay structure adopted by the VIth CPC. All the levels in the pay matrix is nothing but calculated by a multiplying factor of 2.57 to the entry pay for the Grade pay of the VIth CPC. Thus whatever disparity, discrepancies and anomalies that existed in the VIth CPC are being allowed to continue.

In the case of Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways the unrealistic position is that the entire posts from Loco Pilot (Shunting)-I, Loco Pilot (Goods), Loco Pilot (Pass)/Sr.Motorman and Loco Pilot (Mail) lie on the same Grade pay of Rs.4200, though treated as promotion from one post to another. The same lacunae in the Seventh CPC continue in the Seventh CPC as all these posts are fitted in level 6. The responsibilities, skill set widely differ between each of these posts and selection involves between them and that is the grievance of the staff. The management also finds it hard to fill the vacancies as workers are expressing reluctance to move from one post to other as inadequate monetary enhancements to their pay commensurate to shouldering higher responsibility on moving from one post to other. Therefore we demand to place each of these posts in different level than to dump all in one level in the pay matrix. 

The Seventh CPC itself recommend that on promotions the pay will be first enhanced by 3% in the same level and fix the pay in the next level in pay matrix. So the concept become clear that promotion involves moving from one level to other.

The entry pay of the Station Master (SM) category is elevated to Level 6 by Seventh CPC and thus the apex post of Loco Running Staff-Loco Pilot/Mail- and the new entrants in SM category became in one and the same level. This has disturbed the historical relativity. Also pushed down the status of Loco Pilots among the big three i.e., Loco Pilots, Station Masters and Guards in the Railways.

3. Duties and Responsibilities of Loco Pilots Not Properly Assessed

Moreover we also have complaint that the Seventh CPC did not care to visit the work spot and travel in the locos even though visited other places like control office, etc. to acquire knowledge about the real working conditions, which resulted in unjust treatment as far as Loco Running Staff is concerned. It also resulted in not properly understanding and acknowledging the real condition and recommending appropriate emoluments to the Loco Running Staff. Therefore we feel that the Seventh CPC could not assess the nature of duty, responsibility, stress, the skill required for the Loco Running Staff, which would otherwise persuade them to enhance the pay and not dump all of them in level 6.

4.Difference in Responsibility and Work Load of Loco Pilots and Guards 

The responsibility, skill required, medical standard, the stress on duty attached to the post of Loco Pilot/Motorman in all grades is much higher level in comparison with the duties attached to the post of the Guards. The management, the entire work force in Railways are in agreement in this position.

The Loco Pilot/Motorman must have thorough knowledge in the technical aspects of 19 types of locomotives that are pressed in to service to operate it and attend troubles enroute besides basic knowledge on carriage/wagon, track etc. intimate knowledge in signal system, innumerable rules to adhere to ensure safety. A thorough knowledge of the terrain in which they have to move the train, its curve, up and down gradient, position of level crossing gates, bridges etc.to enable him to run the train in safe manner, duly maintaining punctuality. The sustained attention without any relax during the run, are in much higher side. The highest medical standard to hold the post; all these requirements are in much higher level than the Guard. According to General and Subsidiary Rules (open line) in force stipulate that, in the absence of Guard all the duties are entrusted with the Loco Pilots. The above said position is over and above the responsibility attached to the post.

Placing both the Guard and Loco Pilot in similar position in regard to pay is totally wrong. Allowing similar position in regards to emolument for both of them, crept in the system from VI CPC onwards, when the system of pay band and pay grade where introduced. By the application of the system all the posts of Loco Pilot and Guard fell in one slot inadvertently. 


 Minimum of Pay Scale( in Rs.)

Category
I CPC 1947
II CPC 1959
III CPC 1973
*CRC 1985
IV CPC 1986
V CPC 1996
Mail Driver
260.00
335.00
550.00
700.00
1640.00
6000.00
Mail Guard
150.00
205.00
425.00
455.00
1400.00
5500.00



It is to be noted from IIIrd CPC till 5th CPC the relativity in pay between Guards and Loco Pilots who are in comparable line, there were an ‘edge’ to Loco Pilot, in comparison to the Guard, considering the higher parameter in the duties and responsibilities attached to the post of Loco Pilot.

It is disheartening to note that inspite of sustained representation, expressing our grievances before the Ministry of Railways, in this regard no serious effort was taken by the Railway Board to ameliorate the grievances. There were no efforts to evaluate and compare the responsibility, skill, stress, accountability, etc. between the post of Guard and Loco Pilot in order to redress the grievances of Loco Pilot of Indian Railways. In a quick response the management advances the argument that the Loco Pilots have an ‘edge’ in their pay, by the way of pay element and retirement benefits. But the ‘edge’, the pay element of 30% is also squarely applicable to Guards too. Therefore we plead before the committee to look after this grievance seriously and redress the same. We suggest an appropriate committee to be formed and evaluate the difference in responsibility, stress, skill medical standard etc., between Guard and Loco Pilot and place both in appropriate level in the pay matrix.

In consideration of level of the responsibility skill, stress, medical standard etc, attached to the post of Guard the pay in level 6 in pay matrix were accorded to them, it is imperative that so far the level of responsibility, skill, stress, medical standards of loco pilots stand in higher level than the Guard. Different treatment in emoluments must be accorded to loco pilot invariably in a higher level than the guard in pay matrix is warranted.

5. Anomaly in Allowing Level 2 in the Pay Matrix to Assistant Loco Pilots 

That leads us to the next anomaly in allowing level in pay matrix for the Assistant Loco Pilot of the Indian Railways. The posts of Assistant Loco Pilot are distributed between level 2 and level 4 in 20% and 80% respectively. And both were fitted in GP 1900 and GP 2400 in VIth CPC. The entry qualification of Assistant Loco Pilot in level 2 is matriculation+ITI(NCVT) for both mode of recruits through RRB and lateral entry through GDCE. After induction to this post they were given with rigorous training in General and Subsidiary rules (open line) which exclusively deals with rules pertaining to moving of trains in every circumstances, terrain etc. and thorough knowledge in the technical aspect of around 19 types of loco motives. This is agreed by the High Level Safety Review Committee headed by Shri.Anil Kakodkar and had recommended to enhance the recruitment qualification from ITI to Diploma in Engineering. This also not been considered appropriately. 

In various department including Railways the grade pay Rs.1900 of VIth CPC has been allotted level 2 in pay matrix and has been allotted to whose recruitment qualification stands at matriculation with ITI (NCVT). But in all cases who were fixed in level 2, where entry qualification is fixed at ITI no additional training as of for ALPs in Railways before induction to that post. The ALP has to undergo a period of 17 weeks training. Both, who have no induction training and those who undergo induction training cannot be treated alike in starting pay. The additional training over and above entry qualification should be reflected in the emoluments.

The Seventh CPC in para 11.40.63 when the question raising the educational qualification of ALP states as follows, “the commission concurs with the view of Ministry of Railways, since the effectiveness of Loco Pilots can be improved by revamping their training rather than enhancing the minimum educational qualification”.(Emphasis added) that speaks the imperative to impart training before induction. While dealing with the case of Assistant Station Masters (ASM) of Indian Railways, the Seventh CPC took a stand that the qualification of the ASM in GP Rs.2800 and the SM in GP Rs.4200 are identical with practically no difference in the functions performed by them and thus upgraded ASM to SM post and allowed the Grade pay of Rs.4200 to ASM also and placed both ASM and SM in level 6. The same is the position in the case of ALPs and Sr ALPs in regard to their educational qualification and functions performed. ALPs are just 8% of the entire cadre of Loco Running Staff. All the parameters for upgrading ASM to SM and allowing same level in pay matrix are squarely applicable to ALP. Therefore we demand that the ALP be merged with Sr.ALP.

It may also be noted that at present the ALPs have been allowed with level 2, just next position in pay matrix than the lowest employee in Govt of India. It may please be appreciated that the responsibility, skill, the medical standard and the training prior to induction to the post and nature of work in the whole life in the outdoor in all weather conditions, starting and breaking off from duties in the odd hours without a scheduled roster, staying away from their families and high responsibility in ensuring safety in train operations gives an ‘edge’ over and above the lowest employees in Govt service. Their case is to be considered in this background. Moreover the historical relativity with the lowest Govt employee is also distinct. In IVth CPC the initial pay of the lowest employee stood at Rs.196, in Vth CPC Rs.2550 whereas the ALP initial pay was Rs.290 and Rs.3050 in the IVth and Vth CPCs respectively. This Association placed before the Seventh CPC various ground to fix ALP at level 6 corresponding to GP Rs.4200, this may also be considered.

6. Different Levels Allotted to Loco Pilot (Shunting) Without any Nexus

The same position exists in the cadre of Loco Pilot (Shunting), 50% in GP Rs.2400 and 50% in GP Rs.4200, now in level 4 and level 6 respectively. Though, their functional performance, medical standard are one and the same therefore those LP (Shunting) in level 4 be shifted to level 6. They are also just 4% of the total strength of the Loco Running cadre. We demand to merge the post of LP (Shunting) I and LP(Shunting) II and fitted in higher Level of Pay Matrix.

7. Discrimination by not Deciding Pay Element and Running Allowance 

The terms of reference to Seventh CPC given by the Govt of India vividly stipulate that to “examine, review, evolve and recommend changes to the emolument structure including pay and allowances of the entire Govt employees.”

The Loco Running Staff are Govt employees, therefore they have the right to have their emoluments to be reviewed, examined, recommend change to their pay and allowance by this Expert body, which is an independent body. But in the case of Loco Running Staff the Seventh CPC simply absolve themselves from examining, evolving and review the running allowance of Loco Running Staff of Indian Railways , and left the matter to be looked into by the Ministry of Railways, the employer. The running allowance consists of two components, pay and allowance, split into 30% of pay and 70% as allowance in lieu of daily allowance on tour. And a portion of that allowance also be reckoned for pension too.

It is universally accepted that giving unbridled discretion to decide the emoluments of employee by the employer is bad in nature. Even in private sector, it is not without any reasonable check, to safe guard the interest of the workers and check the arbitrariness of the employer in relation to pay, the Govt enacted the Minimum Wages act etc. Leaving the issue of pay and allowances to the employer i.e., the Railway Board is to be seen in this perspective. 

At this juncture, it is not wise and practical to ask to send back the matter to the CPC. What we plead to examine and review the Running Allowance by an independent authority bereft of men under the direct control of Railway Board. We plead to form an independent body to examine the issue of running allowance so as to instil confidence that justice will be extended. It is our bitter experience in the past whenever the matter pertaining to the Running Allowance left to the Railway i.e. employer we were subjected to exploitation at the hands of Railway Board. Moreover unlike the other Ministries under the Govt, the Ministry of Railways, have its own Budget and they have power to make rules.

8. Special Running Staff Allowance (Additional Allowance)

Introduced by the Sixth CPC, this allowance is granted to certain categories of running staff of Indian Railway on account of more onerous nature of work. Seventh CPC has also endorsed it. 

For the Loco Running Staff the allowance was arbitrarily limited to LP (Pass) and LP (Mail), even though the reason stated for allowing the allowance is equally applicable to all categories in different degree from ALP to LP (Mail). The Seventh CPC resolved to some extent by extending the allowance to the LP (Goods) also but still left others to face discrimination. We demand that the allowance be extended to Assistant Loco Pilot and LP (Shunting) and proportionally to be enhanced in the case of LP(Goods), LP(Pass) and LP(Mail).

While revising the allowance,. the Seventh CPC refixed it as Rs.2250 per month which is nothing but the same amount already been earned by the staff at present. The claim by the Seventh CPC that the allowance was raised to Rs.2250 per month is misleading. The injustice need to be addressed by increasing the amount at least by multiplying factor to arrive at the new Basic Pay (now @ 2.57) especially in the circumstance of extending the allowances of such character at higher rate to other staff by the Seventh CPC.

The Special Allowance (Onerous Duty Allowance) is in tandem with the Risk and hardship Allowance. The Risk and Hardship Allowance for Trackmen of Indian Railways is fixed in a constant amount of Rs 2750 with partially indexed with DA raise.

In this connection we specifically say that the amount so fixed to Track Man is equal to 15% of the entry pay for them, whereas the special pay (Onerous Pay) of the Loco Running Staff is at the tune of 6% of the entry pay in the emoluments of Seventh CPC. 

It is totally a treatment that seems discriminatory. Therefore we plead the Special Allowance for Running Staff referred in para 11.40.61 shall be raised to 15% of the entry pay for the Loco Running Staff. 

Further, since the Special Running Staff allowance is not an exclusive allowance but also present in itself some character of Pay, as evident from the fact that it was  included in the schedule A by the VIth CPC and the arrears was paid from 01-01-2006, the recommendation of the Seventh CPC that the allowance would not count for the pensionary benefits is not fair. So we once again reiterate our demand that the allowance should be taken into account for pensionary benefits.

9. Dress Allowance

The seventh CPC devised a Dress Allowance by including various allowances related to uniform and recommended to grant it along with the salary every year which is a welcome recommendation. The rate of Rs.5000/- fixed for Loco Running Staff is inadequate given the running duty involves continuous tour, staying away from home for more than 3 days in a spell of duty, peculiar conditions of work in Diesel / Electric locos, exposure to more outdoor duties, etc. which entails frequent change of uniform requiring them to keep more sets of uniform than stationary workers. It is also pertinent to note that the recommendation of High Power Committee- 2013 under Ministry of Railways that good quality uniform and smart uniform should be ensured to the Loco Running Staff to instil self-esteem. So there is every justifications to get dress allowance at the rate of Rs.10000/- per annum.

Though Seventh CPC recommended Rs.5000/- for certain categories the commission had given discretion to the Ministries to take decision for enhancement to Rs.10000. We demand to enhance the Dress Allowance to Rs.10000/- p.a.

Summary of our Grievances

1. Minimum pay to be raised from Rs.18000 to Rs.26000 and revise the fixation formula.

2. Pay of LP(Shunting) Grade I, LP Goods, LP Passenger and LP Mail in level 6 to be granted with distinct levels in pay matrix considering different and higher responsibilities and skill etc. in each post.

3. Merge the post of Loco Pilot (Shunting) - II and Loco Pilot (Shunting)- I as functional performance etc., are same for both and allow higher level in the pay matrix.

4. Merge the post of Assistant Loco Pilot to the Sr.Assistant Loco Pilot post and allow level 4 in pay matrix as the qualification, functional performance of both are identical. And entire Assistant Loco pilot and Sr. Assistant Loco Pilot be elevated to level 6.

5. Running allowance shall be reviewed only by an independent authority, bereft of men under the control of Ministry of Railways.

6. Special Running Staff allowance to be increased adequately with respect to the raise in Pay, broad banding and increase in risk and hardship allowance. It shall be extended to all the cadres of Loco Running Staff.

7. Dress allowance to be increased from Rs.5000/- to Rs.10000/- to all Loco Running Staff.



This Association requests your good self to expeditiously consider this memorandum to the satisfaction of the Loco Running Staff and to contain the smouldering discontentment among them in the interest of safe, punctual, efficient train operations and keep the industrial relation in good fettle. We also request that we may be heard before a final decision is taken.

Thanking you Sir,

Yours faithfully,



(M.N.Prasad)

Secretary General



Copy To, 

1. To The Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, New Delhi-1

2. To The Member (Staff), Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, New Delhi-1

3. To The General Secretary, AIRF, New Delhi-14. To The General Secretary, NFIR, New Delhi-1



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